One of the nice things about blogging is being able to go back later and read what I wrote. It gives me a chance to process and ponder, and to sometimes find an unexpected solution to whatever problem I’m facing at the time.
A few days ago, I wrote that if today’s Ron were to meet today’s Carolyn, we would likely not be attracted to each other. That got me thinking back to when we did first admit that we were attracted to each other. Even then, Ron was not an effusive personality. I remember that I thought he always seemed so sad, and I was determined to shower him with platonic love. Oddly enough, I think Aubrey sensed the same thing. One night we were all gathered over at Ron’s (and his roommates’) house to watch a movie. Ron was sitting in a chair and an adorable six year old Aubrey went and climbed in his lap. She didn’t ask, she just decided that Ron’s lap was where she wanted to sit.
A few months before, they had bonded over The Powerpuff Girls. It was one of the few tv shows that Ron liked to watch. Of course, Aubrey LOVED Bubbles. Aubrey could easily have played a live action Bubbles, with her bright blonde hair, pale skin, and huge blue eyes. Aub was as bouncy and playful as Bubbles, too.
I also loved The Powerpuff Girls, but I am more like Buttercup; bitchy and sarcastic. I know that my bitchy sarcasm is the one thing about me that Ron always loves, mainly because he thinks it’s hilarious. He doesn’t mind it because it is rarely directed at my family in a mean way…it’s simply my sense of humor.
Much like Aubrey, I too had to climb in Ron’s lap (many months later) to make him realize that I liked him. I had spent a week fixing his favorite foods, tucking him into bed on our sofa, and rubbing lotion into his mutilated hands (he picks at them when he’s stressed). I knew that he liked me, but he wasn’t about to admit it. With Ron, I had to make EVERY first move. He was painfully shy, and really had no idea how to even relate to a woman, but I was different. I cut him a LOT of slack, because I understood that he didn’t know about flowers and chocolate and romantic gestures. I still do cut him slack, because I know it’s not in his nature to frivolously spend money.
Anyway, the more I thought about how different we are now from how we were then, I realized that I am the one who has changed. For some crazy reason, I expected that Ron would know by now what I want, like, or need; things like buying me a Christmas present, or giving me a random hug. But that is not who Ron is. Even now, 11 years after we first kissed, I still have to take the lead.
After last Friday’s debacle with the car, and when he admitted that he didn’t want to touch me when I’m sick, we had a serious talk. He said that he meant he was afraid that he was going to hurt me by holding me when I’m sore. I think I need to put a giant sign above our bed that says, “Hugs don’t hurt!” I flat out told him that I need him to hug, cuddle me, and hold my hand. Of course, that still doesn’t change the fact that Ron doesn’t think about such things. However, if I do initiate a hug or if I specifically ask him to hold me, he does.
Having a chronic illness sucks the life right out of a relationship. Now we’re having to really work to put the life back in. I think for a while, I got to a place where I was too tired to ask for hugs or a kiss, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want a hug or a kiss. Now I’m remembering that I have to ask. I know in a normal relationship, after 11 years, a person shouldn’t have to ask, but what the hell is normal, anyway? Just like Ron has had to adjust to my being sick, I have to make adjustments for who he is.
Is this a solution to all of our problems? No. But it might be a solution to ONE of our problems, that could potentially lead to other solutions. Either way, it’s worth a try to see if things get better.
“But you do not give up so easily
That’s how I know you won’t surrender me
You rise and meet the day
It’s all I need, it’s all I need to know, it’s all I need to know
And I love you all the time
I had always feared that some gloomy ingratitude would seize me.”